The hit video game series Borderlands is headed to movie theaters for the first time, and after the ups and downs of its development and production, there's a lot for fans to dive into.
Based on the beloved looter-shooter franchise from Gearbox Software, the Borderlands movie from Lionsgate has been described by Gearbox co-founder Randy Pitchford as "the best, most authentic video game to film adaptation [ever]" (via Gamespot).
The film comes from Death Wish director Eli Roth, with a script written by Roth and The Last of Us TV show creator Craig Mazin.
So, with Borderlands coming to the big screen, here is everything we know about the upcoming video game blockbuster:
When Will the Borderlands Movie Release?
Borderlands has been a long time coming, having initially gone into development way back in 2015.
The movie is currently slated to hit theaters on August 9, 2024, but if it missed that date it would not be all that surprising given the up-and-down production the project has had.
After years of passing the idea of an R-rated Borderlands movie around in Hollywood, Eli Roth signed on to direct the movie in February 2020, with a script written by The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin.
Filming got underway just over a year later in April 2021 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and wrapped in June 2021.
All this was done without an announced release date. At the time, star Jamie Lee Curtis revealed in an interview with EW she believed the movie was "being released next year" (aka 2022):
"That was filmed during COVID in Budapest, and I believe it is being released next year. It's a little over-the-top, it's pretty wacky, it's fun."
However, 2022 came and went without an update on the film.
In January 2023, it was announced Borderlands would undergo reshoots without director Eli Roth. Instead, Deadpool director Tim Miller stepped in to oversee the process in an "amicable handing of the baton" (per Deadline). This was the second round of reshoots for the movie, as it had previously gone back in front of cameras in summer 2022.
The Miller-led reshoot schedule came as reports said the video game adaptation was in the midst of "post-production hell."
World of Reel wrote in July 2023 of ill-fated test screenings in November of the year prior that led Lionsgate to ask for more work to be done on the film, including new script rewrites from Bullet Train writer Zak Olkewicz.
Later in the same month, writer Craig Mazin would remove his name from Borderlands, telling Variety, "I cannot claim any kind of authorship [on the movie]:"
“I am not a credited writer on the film, so I cannot claim any kind of authorship of ‘Borderlands,’ much less ‘co-writing. I did see the report about the pseudonym, which is false. I did not use a pseudonym. If the name in question is indeed a pseudonym, all I can say is… it’s not mine.”
It was shortly after Mazin's statement that Lionsgate finally dated the film, revealing in a post on X (formerly Twitter), that Borderlands would be coming to theaters in 2024.
Who Is Cast in the Borderlands Movie?
One of the most popular aspects of the Borderlands franchise is its cast of colorful characters, and that looks to be carrying over into the film adaptation.
Names like Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black headline the action-packed comedy, with plenty of other familiar faces rounding out this all-star ensemble.
Here's a list of every confirmed actor and their characters set to appear in the Borderlands movie:
Cate Blanchett - Lilith
Cate Blanchett plays Lilith, the "Siren" class from the Borderlands video games. Originally from the planet Dionysus, this Vault-Hunting badass wields mind-bending psychic abilities, including being able to teleport short distances. Lillith will serve as the central protagonist of the film, being an outlaw with a mysterious past on the hunt for treasure.
Blanchett is a two-time Academy Award-winning actress, best known for her work in The Aviator, Blue Jasmine, and Thor: Ragnarok.
Kevin Hart - Roland
Roland (played by Kevin Hart) is Borderlands' battle-hardened soldier, best known for his deployable turret, and propensity for all things that go, "BOOM!" Roland is proficient with all weapons but prefers to get up close and personal when on his intergalactic quests for plunder, mostly using shotguns and assault-style rifles.
Jack Black - Claptrap
Jack Black's Claptrap (aka CL4P-TP) is a general-purpose robot, used for helping Vault Hunters in their quest for treasure. Claptrap is best known how his over-enthusiastic tone and constant bragging, despite often expressing feelings of loneliness and cowardice.
Jack Black appears in Borderlands coming off his work as Bowser in the billion-dollar mega-hit The Super Mario Bros. Movie. He is also best known as the voice of Po in the Kung-Fu Panda franchise and the role of Dewey Finn in School of Rock.
Jamie Lee Curtis - Dr. Patricia Tannis
Jamie Lee Curtis joins Borderlands as Dr. Patricia Tannis. In the games, Patricia Tannis is an archeologist and expert in ancient artifacts, with severe mental instability.
Curtis' take on the character looks to be very similar, being "a strange woman" who "falls in love with inanimate objects" as described by the Borderlands star (via Comicbook Resources). It has also been revealed Patricia will be "knew [Lillith's] mother," tying back to the character's past.
Jamie Lee Curtis has had a storied career in Hollywood over the past 45 years, appearing in hits like Halloween, Freaky Friday, and an Oscar-winning performance in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.
Ariana Greenblatt - Tiny Tina
Played by Ariana Greenblatt, Tiny Tina is an unstable 13-year-old explosives expert who has become a mainstay of the Borderlands game franchise. She was initially introduced as a close friend of Roland's but has gone on to take a liking to every one of the Vault Hunters.
Greenblatt is one of the rising young stars in the entertainment industry, already racked up roles in 2023's Barbie, 65 alongside Adam Driver, and even Avengers: Infinity War where she played a young Gamora.
Florian Munteanu - Krieg
Florian Munteanu takes on the role of Kreig another Vault Hunter who is a reformed Phsyco (a band of insane and freakish bandits obsessed with loot). Kreig is known for his hulking stature and massive chainsaw axe.
Haley Bennett - Original Character
Haley Bennett's exact Borderlands character continues to remain a mystery. However, IGN previously revealed the actress will portray an original character new to the franchise who is "key to the past of Cate Blanchett’s character, Lilith."
Bennett can also be seen in Swallow, The Girl on the Train, and The Magnificent Seven.
Édgar Ramírez - Atlas
Édgar Ramírez will seemingly play the primary antagonist of the upcoming Borderlands movie, Atlas. In the games, Atlas is a weapon-manufacturing mega-corporation and one that gets in the Vault Hunters' way quite a bit. Ramírez's Atlas character has been described as a "a business titan and arms manufacturer who is considered the most powerful person in the universe." (per Variety)
Ramírez previously appeared in the Point Break remake, Gold, and Deliver Us From Evil.
Bobby Lee - Larry
Few details have been revealed about Bobby Lee's Larry, who seems to be an original character made for the Borderlands films. Rumor has it that Lee's Larry will actually be one of the sadistic Psychos that gets in the way of the central group of Vault Hunters.
Bobby Lee is best known for his work on the sketch comedy show Mad TV.
Olivier Richters - Krom
Krom (played by Olivier Richters) is a Bandit Captain and Prison Warden in the Borderlands franchise. Before he was a character in the Borderlands film, he was a boss character in the series' first game, dropping his signature repeater pistol for players to use.
Olivier Richters will be familiar to fans from his work in Black Widow, and The King's Man.
Janina Gavankar - Commander Knoxx
Janina Gavankar's Commander Knoxx seems to be a play on the General Knoxx character from the Borderlands downloadable expansion The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, where he served as the primary antagonist. Gavankar's Knoxx will hopefully sport the same kind of bulky mech-like armor as the character's video game counterpart, serving as an underling of the villainous Atlas.
Gavankar's previous credits include The Morning Show, The Way Back, and the Star Wars: Battlefront II video game.
Gina Gershon - Mad Moxxi
Mad Moxxi (played by Gina Gershon) is a charismatic barkeep on the planet of Pandora, also known for hosting an unsanctioned gladiator-style fight every once in a while in her coliseum known as The Underdome.
Gina Gershon has appeared in films such as Showgirls, P.S. I Love You, and Bound.
Cheyenne Jackson - Jakobs
Another physical manifestation of one of Borderlands' famous weapons manufacturers is Cheyenne Jackson as Jakobs. Jackson's character will seemingly be the owner of the Jakob Legacy Firearms, the makers of non-elemental weapons in the style of classic western pistols and shotguns.
Jackson has appeared in such hits as American Horror Story, Glee, and 30 Rock.
Charles Babalola - Hammerlock
Charles Babalola plays Hammerlock (aka Sir Allistair Hammerlock), a beast-wrangler who helps the Vault Hunters on Pandora. Pandora is best known for introducing the alien beasts, Threshers to the planet, as well as his mechanized arm.
Babalola has previously appeared in Black Mirror and The Legend of Tarzan
Benjamin Byron Davis - Marcus
Benjamin Byron Davis is the Borderland film's Marcus. Marcus is a Pandoran arms dealer, known for outfitting Vault Hunters with the latest and greatest weaponry. He also owns a series of weapon vending machines the Hunters use frequently on their treasure-hunting quests.
Steven Boyer - Scooter
While Marcus keeps the Vault Hunters' ballistic needs in check, Steven Boyer's Scooter helps the team with transportation. Scooter is a Pandoran vehicles expert, with a thick southern twang and penchant for making a joke or two.
Steven Boyer can be seen in Wolf of Wall Street, Trial & Error, and Hustlers.
Ryann Redmond - Ellie
Ellie (played by Ryann Redmond) is the gargantuan sister of Scooter and the mechanic at his vehicle outpost. She is a master under the hood, helping Scooter to make sure the Vault Hunters ride in style on their hunt for the best and brightest loot on Pandora.
Ryan Redmond's previous credits include an appearance in Starz's Heels series and A Good Person starring Florence Pugh.
What Will Happen in the Borderlands Movie?
Similar to the plot of the games the Borderlands movie will see a group of outlaws band together to retrieve treasure on the unforgiving planet of Pandora.
However, for the big screen, things will be a little different. Instead of shiny loot, the team of heroes will be on the search for a person.
According to the film's official plot synopsis, Borderlands will center on Cate Blancett's Lilith as she puts together a team to retrieve the missing daughter of "the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas:"
“Lilith, an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas. Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team – Roland, a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption; Tiny Tina, a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg, Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis, the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap, a persistently wiseass robot."
The film will seemingly feature the series staple of "battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits" on the quest to rescue the long-lost child:
"These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other.”
Will the Borderlands Movie Be Rated R?
The MPAA rating for Borderlands has yet to be revealed
The Borderlands franchise has worn its bloody and foul-mouthed nature on its sleeve since the very beginning.
Gearbox (the studio behind the Borderlands games) president Randy Pitchford told fans at a Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) panel in 2015 that the movie is "probably going to be rated R" (via Gamespot), but nothing official has been announced on that front:
"Lionsgate really seems to get 'Borderlands.' And we're giving a mission to them, to make the first good movie based on a video game. And knowing Borderlands, it's probably going to be rated R."
And should the movie stay faithful to the tone of the games, plus, add in that director Eli Roth at the helm (a filmmaker known for gore-filled romps like Death Race), and one can assume the film adaptation will get that R-rating.
Is a Borderlands Movie Trailer Out Yet?
A Borderlands movie trailer has yet to be made public, but there have been some behind-the-scenes teasers released previously.
Gearbox debuted one of these featurettes as a part of the company's 2021 E3 press conference, yet it did not feature any good looks at the cast in character or any footage from the movie.
For a full-length trailer, fans will likely have to wait a little bit longer.
If Lionsgate wanted to debut a trailer alongside one of its other upcoming movies, it could find a perfect match in February 2024's Imaginary.
The upcoming horror movie from Blumhouse Productions fits that similar R-rated demo as Borderlands and comes to theaters roughly six months before the video game adaptation, making it the perfect spot for a new trailer.
Another logical place could be on a night celebrating all things video games at the Video Game Awards set for Thursday, December 7.
As a part of the Awards Show, host Geoff Keighley has made it a habit of including major announcements from across the world of gaming, so a Borderlands trailer would fit the bill perfectly.
Borderlands is set to hit theaters on August 9, 2024.